you meet someone new, sooner or later you’ll get around to asking them where they’re
Richard Roberts, who supervises a team of video producers and others
at Texas Parks and Wildlife in Austin,
will tell you he’s from Houston. But before you have time to ask if he’s an Astros
fan, he has to add an extra identifier to his hometown: It’s Houston, Mississippi.
Houston, population 4,079 in the last U.S. Census, is the county seat of Chickasaw
County, in the northeastern part of the state. Like the city of four-plus million
residents in Harris County, Texas, Houston, Mississippi was named for Sam Houston,
first president of the Republic of Texas
When Judge Joel Pinson donated
a town site in Chickasaw County, he stipulated that it had to be named for his
friend, Sam Houston. That’s what happened, though Mississippi’s Houston didn’t
take off quite like Texas’ Houston, now the nation’s fourth-largest city.
I was a kid, back when people still mailed letters, they used to tell us to be
sure and underline ‘Miss.’ on our return address so our reply wouldn’t get send
to Texas,” Roberts smiled
Houston, MS can boast of being the home of the
first Carnegie library in Mississippi. That’s thanks to one-time school superintendent
L.B. Reid, who in 1909 wrote Andrew Carnegie and said his town needed one of the
philantrophist’s free libraries.
Turns out, a few hundred other Amercans
also can claim a non-Texas Houston as their home town. An Internet search reveals
five U.S. communities named Houston along with three counties named Houston, including
one in Texas.
is a borough in Washington County, PA, population 1,314. Students in Houston and
nearby Chartiers go to school in the Chartiers-Houston School District.
Daniel Houston, a relative of Sam Houston, bought the land which nows include
this Keystone State town from one John Haft on January 24, 1827. When the Chartier
Valley Railroad came through that part of the state in 1871, Daniel’s son David
C. Houston thought his land would be a good place for a town and laid out a community
first named Jewettville.
By the turn of the last century, folks had taken
to calling Jewettville Houstonville, and the community was incorporated as a borough
in 1901. Houstonville really took off when gas well drilling and coal mining began
in the area in the 1880s. By the late 1920s, as one history put it, it had become
a place of “considerable importance,” but today barely has a thousand residents.
About 20 years ago, the “ville” got dropped from the town’s name and it finally
became just plain old Houston.
the Show Me State, Houston is the county seat of aptly named Texas County in Missouri.
In the 2000 national headcount, Houston, MO had a population of 1,992 at the 2000
census. That makes the 3.6-square-mile city makes it the second-largest city in
the county, coming in behind Cabool.
Originally known as Ashley County
when first organized in 1843, its name was changed in 1845 to honor the Republic
of Texas, which soon became the 28th state of the union. Today, 23,000-plus folks
call Texas County, MO home.
also is a town of 1,020 residents in Houston County, MN. (The county has a population
of nearly 20,000.) It was first settled in 1852 by W.G. McSpadden, who walked
there from La Crosse, WI. Why pioneers in this part of Minnesota decided to honor
Sam Houston with a new town is not explained in a lengthy history of the area
published in 1919, but when McSpadden first arrived, Sam Houston was serving in
the U.S. Senate.
another Houston County in Tennessee, population 8,000 or so. The county seat is
also has a Houston, a small town in Kent County, part of the Dover metro area.
But unlike the other Houstons, this community of 439 residents honors a Judge
John W. Houston, not old Sam.
© Mike Cox
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